… you only get one chance to make a first impression
Why should you prepare your home for professional Real Estate photos?
Because you only get one chance to make a first impression. The vast majority of home buyers start their search online, so it is important to make the first impression count.
There are some simple steps that you can take to present your home is the best possible way. Your home will sell more quickly if you have quality professional photos of your home. A good photographer will make sure that your home looks bright, clean, and spacious. But you need to help set your photographer up for success.
Here are some tips to get your home camera ready.
Walking Up to Your House: The front exterior
When potential buyers walk up to your home, you’ve got less than a minute to impress them. How your home looks on the outside will set the tone for the rest of their walkthrough. Keep in mind that the front exterior of your home is the picture most often seen by potential buyers.
- Close the garage doors and remove any cars from the driveway and front of your home
- Remove any lawn decorations
- Replant fresh flowers in planters or remove the empty planters
- Use a broom to remove cobwebs from the eaves and door frames
- Remove any visible water hoses
- Remove all toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, moveable play structures.
- Mow the lawn a couple of days before the shoot. A freshly mowed lawn can show tire tracks and make some parts of the lawn look sparse.
Inside Your Home: The main living areas
The kitchen, master bedroom, and the bathrooms are the three biggest selling points or drawbacks to any house. If your home struggles in one area, try to polish up the others to compensate. You never know what will appeal to potential buyers but your photographer and Real Estate Agent are experts at selecting the best ways to showcase any room so listen to their advice.
- Thoroughly clean the entire house vacuum, mop, and dust
- Turn on all lights and replace burned out bulbs. Try to keep the light bulbs wattage consistent throughout the entire house.
- Clean the outside and inside of your windows well and open the blinds or curtains to let natural light in.
- Place all shoes and jackets inside a closet and hide all trash cans inside and outside.
- Remove any small throw rugs to show to show the flooring and make the room seem more spacious
- Clear the countertops off completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, paper towel holders, mail, or dishwashing supplies.
- You can leave out one small appliance like a coffee maker, but no more than one!
- Clear off the outside of your refrigerator. Remove any magnets, papers, and photos for the day.
- Hide any garbage cans in the pantry or the closet
- Remove all of the dishes from sink or place them in the dishwasher
The Master Bedroom:
- Make the bed and include any decorative pillows or shams if available
- Iron the bed linens and bed skirts
- Clear your nightstands and dresser of all personal items
- Store away your phone charging cables
- Remove any family photos from walls
- Clear off the countertops completely. Leave no soap, toothbrushes, medications, or deodorant visible to the camera
- Put all of the toilet seats down and close closet doors
- Remove your shampoo, soap, and loofahs from the shower and bath tub
- Remove any dirty or wet towels and leave out only new, unused towels for the photographs
- Remove all bath mats in the room, clear floors make the room seem more spacious.
A quick note about staging:
Less is more when staging a home for photographs. This is not the time for decorations but the time to de-clutter and depersonalize your home. Try to take as much off of the countertops as possible. You can leave a candle or small arrangement of flowers, but try not to overdo it.
Pets are loveable members of our families but not a selling point for your home. Try to minimize their presence by removing beds, food bowls, and toys in the home for photographs.
Lastly, try to take out one piece of furniture. Buyers rarely see homes with too little furniture in them. Keep in mind that the negative space is just as appealing to potential buyers as some of the homes features.
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